Restoration of Body Composition in Celiac Children after One Year of Gluten-Free Diet

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SummaryRestoring protein, fat, and bone compartments in celiac children on a gluten-free diet (GFD) is not yet well understood. Hence, anthropometric, biochemical, and bone densitometric assessment was performed in 23 celiac children, 8 boys and 15 girls, aged 1 to 12 years (mean 4.7), at diagnosis and 1 year after GFD. At diagnosis the patients had height, arm muscle area, triceps skinfolds, subscapular skinfolds, fat area index, and bone mineral content significantly lower than in an age- and sex-matched control group. After 1 year on GFD, no significant difference was found between patients and controls in all the parameters studied except in height and arm muscle area, which, however, were very near to the normal expected. Serum hemoglobin, iron, and zinc values were below the normal range in more than one half of patients at diagnosis and within the normal range in almost all of them after 1 year of GFD. Serum hemoglobin, iron, zinc, triglycerides, proteins, albumin, and calcium values significantly rose during the year of GFD. A year of GFD in celiac children allows a virtually complete return in body mass composition.

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